Halloween is the season which owes its roots to ancient Irish customs and beliefs

When the Irish emigrated to America and other places, they brought their customs and beliefs with them. One of these customs was carving sugar-beets and other root vegtables into a scary face before hollowing it out and placing a candle inside. In America, they used pumpkins for these jack-a-lanterns, a custom which has now come back to Ireland.

The modern festival of Halloween is clearly rooted in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. That was a time when the ancient Irish lit fires on the sacred hills of the country, when they believed that the Otherworld opened up and spirits were around and mingling with human beings. 

Hear more about the origins of the customs, traditions, food, divinations, spells and stories of this time of year from Jenny Butler (UCC), Marion McGarry (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology), comedian and podcaster Martin Beanz Warde, seanachaí Eddie Lenihan and our super-duper spooky kids Charlie, Jonah, Isaac, Lochlainn and Alexa. This video was directed and edited by Laura Gaynor

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